I-Team: Conceal-carry gun owner crimes rare in Illinois

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Crimes committed by concealed-carry gun owners are rare in Illinois, which has been issuing concealed weapons permits for less than two years. (WLS)

An ABC7 I-Team Investigation
Crimes committed by concealed-carry gun owners are rare in Illinois, which has been issuing concealed weapons permits for less than two years.

When the first concealed-carry permit was issued in the state on December 18, 2013, there were predictions that Illinois would turn into the Wild West.

That, of course, hasn't happened. Friday's apparent murder-suicide involving a licensed concealed weapon owner is unusual.

There are now more than 120,000 concealed-carry licensees in Illinois and it is extremely rare to hear about a permit holder being involved in any violent crime, much less a murder. Friday's was the first of 2015 according to police officials, if not the first at all here since Illinois passed concealed carry.

The Illinois standards and requirements are rigorous.

Among them:

  • No violent criminal history, not even a misdemeanor.

  • No pending warrants.

  • No objections by local law enforcement.

  • Full background check.

  • 16 hours of firearms training by a state police-approved instructor.

So far, Illinois has revoked only a couple hundred concealed weapons permits for various infractions, 80 in Cook County.

And there hasn't been a notorious case here, such as the infamous George Zimmerman in Florida, one of the original concealed carry states.

In 2017 Zimmerman, with a legally-carried pistol, fatally shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin while on a neighborhood watch.

The number of concealed gun permits in Illinois is actually far short of what had been predicted. With many experts saying 300,000 licenses would be likely, only about a third of that number has been granted permits. Nationally, more than 11 million people currently hold concealed carry permits.

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